What shall we discuss as we are forming our communities? Every forming community (I hope!) asks this question and communities that have already moved in give lots of different answers. Many of those answers are in the form of "I wish we'd resolved this" and "we decided x which was irrelevant and should have decided y which was important." All of those reflections are completely true, of course, but I don't think they get at the purpose for deciding things prior to move-in.
The purpose of discussing policies before move-in is to resolve as much as you can about your values before getting so many new members you can never agree on values.
“I don’t want to be a used car salesman.” This is the response I most often hear when I ask forming cohousing groups to describe their feelings around using sales techniques in their membership recruitment.
And I get it. We tend to stereotype sales people as sleazy movie car salesman: they pounce aggressively and they don’t listen. They leave us feeling coerced. We picture the guy to the left.
I just made my annual contribution of $100 to Cohousing.org. I do this every year because of the many benefits the organization has provided me: support, friendship, resources, and inspiration. Each year I choose ten organizations that are important to my life and my community, and I make a donation. To me, it’s a privilege and an obligation to give back to organizations I support.
Annie Lehman of PDX Commons & Coho/US Board Member
I recently returned from the Coho/US Regional Conference in Boulder, CO and I’m still high on the vitality that we shared the entire weekend. Wherever you looked, the almost 200 attendees were talking intently, meeting new people, sharing experiences, hopes, and dreams for the future. Plus it all felt positive, even when we discussed challenges, like managing conflict. What was evident all weekend was the “community” we all strive for - new, old, seeking, building, and living it. There was a fervent sense that this is what is needed right now. It was such a welcome and welcoming feeling.
I don't hardly know where to start! Thank you so much to Silver Sage Village and Wild Sage to hosting our day of intensives which attendees very much enjoyed. We all met new people and reconnected with cohousing friends during the reception. Katie McCamant talked about 'reintegrating community in this fast paced world' in a public presentation. There were sessions for everybody on Saturday and a fun time was had out on the town that night. Oh, and the CO weather cooperated (mostly) with the sun shining for the Community bus tours that went to nine different amazing cohousing communities! More details to be reported in blog posts and upcoming eNews
SO many things to look forward to:
National Open House Day Sunday April 29th, 2018
North East Summit regional conference September 21st-23d, 2018
National Conference Portland, OR May 30th-June 2nd, 2019
The Regional Cohousing Conference this weekend in Boulder, CO will bring cohousing professionals, those seeking cohousing and existing communities all together - there to share and gather knowledge to bring back to their established/new/in-process communities.
Hear from Bryan Bowen of Caddis Architects (and resident at Wild Sage Cohousing) on why you should be excited for this weekend!
"The Conference is a great place to share ideas, to learn how to fine tune your community's best practices or even how to start a new community."
While there is an abundance of information on our Coho/US website about the variety of cohousing communities, as well as the option to post inquiries to the Cohousing-L list serve, nothing compares to spending time at a community. Whether you are forming a community and in the process of learning all that you can, or living in an established community and wanting to observe how others do things, this is time well spent.
Let's talk resilience! That's what I'll be doing at the Regional Cohousing Conference this year and I hope you all are coming and want to dig in to that concept. What does it mean for our communities to be resilient: economically, ecologically and socially?